Be warned ... parking in Dubrovnik isn't hard, you might drive around once or twice but it isn't impossible ....
Meter's are blue in color ... they have an option for English which is helpful. insert 5 kunas for 1 hour and a small ticket comes out .. you place that ticket on the dashboard of your car and that's it. Simple .... Problem is half of the machines don't work .... we found out the hard way.
We parked near Lapad went over to the machine inserted 5 kunas and the machine didn't give the receipt ... we tried again ... and nothing ...
So we just decided to leave the car there ..... 2 hours later we had a real nice parking ticket for 85 kuna's .... about $17 US dollar.
And then the problem was to find an open bank to try to pay before we left because if you don't pay it the rental car company will charge you a huge amount to get it paid and your credit card will be charged a big amount.
We found a local bank and we paid it and recieved a receipt as proof of payment.
WARNING to all western women travelling to Croatia ! Some of the Dubrovnik police are involved in abductions and murder of women travellers and this has been going on for a while ...Croatian politicians and cops are using dissinformation on a big scale ,but just read about the murder of Britt Lapthorne on the internet and you'll get all the info..
To be honest, it is difficult for me to give any warnings or dangers tip for this place. After all it is a very crowded tourist destination so all the common warning should apply here as well. Other warnings are the high walls and no fence so you should be aware of that, there are cases where tourists have been falling down from those walls and not survive the impact. So in short, it is all about everything and nothing, just be careful as anywhere else in the world.
There are hordes of pigeons that congregate, if anybody feeds the first one. They hang out in the square, and I suspect the local retail shops do not like it. I saw pigeons try to enter the shops. What bold audacity.
There are basically few, and maybe only one grocery market store in the proximity to the old town that we saw, and that was small. So advise is to get what you need outside in the suburbs, even though stores also may be hard to find.
Park benches come at a premium because the locals, not really looking like vagrants, take the spot to lie down and sleep in the only park close to the Pile Gate and bridge-a small park and not too well maintained
This sounds like a joke, but we found out that even though you can see it, you cannot easily find the path/street to get to it. After going out Pile Gate, follow the the street past the little square, and at the end of that turn left toward an alley (it is hard to see from street). From one sign, you then follow the street to the bottom of a harbor, and then can see how to get up to the fort.
There is only one public toilet in the whole town, and that is out the Pile gate entrance and head toward Minceta tower, and up the street about 150 feet. There is s small sign that shows where it is, but you need to look for it real hard. When asking the locals where a toilette/nuznik/zahodie was, they were unsure, and the information tourism facility was little help and little caring.
The alternative is to find and cafe bar and pay $10 for beer and coffee to the convenience of the toilet use there.
There are a fair amount of steps to reach the old town main area; like 100 to the square form the gates. We rented an apartment in the eastern hillside and had many more to take on. There were 56 steps to the apartment from the street, another 200 steps down to the gate, and then those other 100 steps. What goes down must come up. After about 5-6 treks by us over 3days, it does get fatiguing, and hard on my knee replacement-as in not real knee. I bought a knee wrap to help in the agony some.
Since there is little to no parking in the hillside homes, many/most people come and go using the steps and need to carry everything on their shoulders or lug with the arms.
Dubrovnik is lacking in official budget options and hostels, although you will no doubt be approached at the bus station by people offering €10 Old Town rooms...some genuinely good accommodation options, others scams involving extra charges galore and long walks or bus rides to and from the Old Town. Some of these people can be quite pushy and insistent so you will have to be very firm with them if you are not interested in their accommodation...if you show interest they may be hard to shake off!
I am a woman of Indian origin, who has just returned from a holiday in Dubrovnik. I encountered bizzare behaviour from some of the locals. I went into a shop in the old town to purchase some juice. There was a shelf displaying a variety of juices but when I asked for some, the woman just shook her head. I thought that she had not understood what I wanted so I pointed to the bottles and said "juice" but still she refused to serve me. The second time I went into another store to purchase bread. I asked the woman for some and she shook her head again. There was a young Croatian, who translated what I wanted but the lady shook her head again and refused to serve me. Racist behaviour? I do not know. The hotel staff were all very helpful and friendly as were the taxi drivers - no problem there at all. However I did get a few curious glances from the locals in the old town and coupled with the above incidents makes me wonder. It is a lovely city though but these incidents spoilt it a little for me.
We feel that Dubrovnik restaurants are NOT baby friendly. Only one in 10 has a baby chair; don't ask if they can obtain one. For a Roman Catholic country that is becoming a tourist mecca, you would expect them to be more friendly to the young ones. Highly recommend you bring a small portable baby chair (the kind that strap into regular chairs) from Target with you, unless your kid can sit/eat for extended periods in the stroller.
It is not possible to reach Dubrovnik via road from the rest of Croatia without your passport, as the Dubrovnik area is disconnected from the rest of the country. You must pass through the Bosnian costal town of Neum.
Needless to say more (?)
Dubrovnik, and then especially Pile - the old parts of the city, are very very crowded with tourist.
I was there in mid June, and according to locals; the amount of tourist I saw was nothing compared to what they were expecting in July & August.
As cosy & nice as Dubrovnik might be; these little bloodsucking creatures will disturb you more or less.
Due to the warm weather in Croatia you often have to sleep with the windows open, and the mosquitos are then most active.
Keep this in mind and be sure to buy or bring along some bugspray.
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